Primary School Project in Malawi
In Malawi, education is not compulsory. Only 50 percent of children attend primary school. Of the children who attend primary school, only 25 percent graduate. Even for those who do graduate, many regions of Malawi lack secondary schools. Most schools do not have basic resources such as desks, textbooks, exercise books, and pens. Classes are often held outdoors because of a shortage of classrooms and there can be up to 170 children in a single class, with teachers sometimes teaching two classes at once.
Only 2/3 of teachers have completed two years of formal training. The illiteracy rate in the country is one of the highest in the world (at around 61.3 percent).
We work with a government run primary school called Kazembe, in our village of Lifuwu. The primary school offers education to children between 6 and 16 years old (Standards One to Eight). The class sizes vary but can be up to 170 students. We aim to support the school by sending volunteers, donating learning materials such as books and pens, and helping maintain the facilities.
In 2013 help2kids constructed shelters so that the classes taught outside can continue when it rains. Additionally, we constructed a fully furnished school block and supplied all the desks for classes up to 100 children. We also regularly donate teaching materials.
Unfortunately, there is no secondary school in our area so some parents remove their children from school to help the family earn a living instead. Without hope for further education, it is understandable why many of the parents think school is a waste of time.
Despite all the difficulties reaching a secondary school in our area, some children still undertake this next step in their education and we support as many as we can with an education sponsorship. We support the families by paying for school fees, transport, food and learning materials. A Secondary Education Sponsorship costs only 20 USD per month. Please consider making this important donation and see the Malawi section of the help2kids wish list for more information.
Your role as a volunteer
Teaching Assistant and Tutoring: Teaching English to the students is one of the top priorities for our projects in Malawi. As a volunteer you will assist the teachers at Kazembe Primary School by providing English lessons to the older students. You will be assigned a class, usually from Standard Five up to Standard Eight. You may also decide to teach other subjects such as Math, Science, Life Skills, etc., depending on your skills, interests, and experience.
Additionally, you will tutor the students, helping the learners with their assignments and helping those that fall behind in their work with one-on-one attention during the classes. Whenever you feel comfortable, you may also decide to take over the lesson under the supervision of the teacher.
After School Programs: "Kid’s Corner" at Kazembe is a program aimed at adding value not only to the education of the kids, but also to their personal development. Kid’s Corner concentrates on the lower standards, working with the kids on their English language skills through arts & crafts, songs, games, and sports. You will organize interactive learning activities and the kids will be eager participants. As most of the children are idle in the afternoon, we believe that the after school programs represent a great opportunity for the kids to spend their time in a profitable way, as well as a wonderful way for the volunteers to get to know the kids.